El Parro Borderland Beat Source and CPJ Reporters Without Borders
It has taken just over a week for Mexico – one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists – to record its first murder of a reporter in 2020.
The bullet-riddled corpse of radio presenter Fidel Ávila Gómez was found on Wednesday near a rubbish dump in the notorious Tierra Caliente region, Mexico’s heroin-producing heartlands.
Ávila, who was reportedly in his mid-40s, had disappeared over a month earlier.
The El Universal newspaper said he was the seventh journalist to be murdered in Michoacán state since 2006. Another six have gone missing, joining the ranks of an estimated 62,000 desaparecidos. (Painfully low number reported in these tallies, former president Calderon himself stated there was over 20k in clandestine graves along the borde, and he left office in 2012)
Locals remembered Ávila as a “kind, respectful and hardworking” reporter. There was no immediate explanation for his killing.
Recent years have seen Mexico become one of the most perilous places on earth to be a reporter.
Last month the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said Mexico had suffered the second highest number of killings in 2019 after war-torn Syria. Of the 11 Mexican journalists killed, at least five were targeted in reprisal for their reporting, the CPJ said.
Mexico’s human rights chief draws fury for asking if journalists have been killed
The slaughter of Mexican journalists is part of a broader security crisis that represents one of the greatest challenges to the leftist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Comment: who controls the media, controls the story
Ávila Gómez was host and manager at radio broadcaster Ke Buena in Huetamo, Michoacán.
The CNDH condemned the murder and called on authorities to investigate possible ties between the killing and Ávila Gómez’s work at the radio.
The commission said that on Dec. 3 it had requested precautionary measures to search for the journalist from the General Secretariat of Government and the Attorney General’s Office in Guerrero. (Huetamo sits directly adjacent to Guerrero)
According to its information, Ávila Gómez left Huetamo on Nov. 29 to attend a cultural event in Guerrero, was abducted by armed people and taken away in a van.
Syria and Mexico were the deadliest countries. Some reports give an edge to Mexico, others to Syria, others call it a tie. It is a title no nation seeks.
Mexico’s numbers; Of this year’s murders that took place in Mexico. According to CJP numbers, which included only those murders that can be unequivocally connected to the journalists work.
Mexico is the only nation in the top rung that is not at war. Drug war excluded.
In Mexico, 10 journalists were killed in 2019 — the same as in 2018. With at least 14 journalists killed in Latin America overall this year, the group noted that the region was now as deadly for reporters as the Middle East.
In its report, Reporters Without Borders noted that a further eight journalists had been murdered in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Haiti, but they had yet to be added to the annual roundup pending verification.
Journalists run as a masked protester aims at them spraying from a fire extinguisher at a bus station on the sidelines of a women’s march sparked by a string of alleged sexual attacks by police officers, in Mexico City in August – ten were killed in the country this year